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An Artful Show of Support – Paint The Heights

October marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Peoria Heights is doing their best to support survivors through a unique exhibit.

The Susan. G. Komen Foundation states that nearly 300,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are estimated to be diagnosed this year. Affecting not just the patients, but their families too. Families like Theresa McDade’s whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of last year. At the time she was taking a photography class and asked her Mom if she could document her journey. Throughout the battle, she became connected with survivors, and with them shared incredible stories of strength.

A sense of united pride gave her the idea: their own bodies would be the perfect canvas to create art, and illustrate the many struggles and hardships of battling cancer.

“It became a cathartic journey for both of us because what i learned along the way and began to express and that they felt beautiful again.”

Exhibit A Gallery became the home for McDade’s work and through 25 years, the owner Barb Milaccio says there’s never been a more powerful statement via art on display.

“How often do you see your body you know painted, let alone breast caner survivors and the weaknesses and the struggles that they have been going through that they’re able to say this is me, this is it, so for the gallery to be a part of that has been amazing.”

Once word got around about McDade’s project, other heights businesses and the Susan G. Komen foundation quickly hoped on board, creating an entire month-long art project and painting the heights in the process

Kaitlin Pearson

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